Hart calls on referees to keep the flow

Dan Potts saw this late effort saved by Ryan Allsop
Dan Potts saw this late effort saved by Ryan Allsop

Hatters assistant boss Paul Hart has called on referees to get a stronger grip on time-wasting antics after his side’s 1-1 draw at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

The Luton number two was disappointed by official Darren England’s display against the Chairboys, especially with the amount of time taken up by the hosts during the 90 minutes.

The job of the referee is to keep the flow, to keep the tempo in the game, because people pay a lot of money.

Paul Hart

He said: “It’s difficult, this is a hard place to come to, there were huge stoppages, long delays and it’s the referee’s job to keep the flow of the game going.

“It happens to us all the time, it’s very difficult to play when it’s stop and start. At one point, it seemed like the ball had only been in play for about five minutes.

“A question needs to be asked, I’m not sure I’m the one to ask it, I’m not sure what I’m saying now, I’m going to end up getting lynched, but it’s very disappointing.

“The job of the referee is to keep the flow, to keep the tempo in the game, because people pay a lot of money.

“I’m not saying it wasn’t an exciting game in patches when it got going, but the referee is duty bound to keep the flow of the game.

“It’s a tough place to come and credit to Wycombe Wanderers, they make life very hard to play in, but I’m just so proud of the players.

“The courage they showed to recover, they show it week in week out, and they’ll get their rewards for it in the future I’m sure.”

Hart was also disappointed to see Hatters concede two penalties in the 90 minutes, the first when Sonny Bradley was adjudged to have fouled Matt Bloomfield in the area.

With the Town centre half already booked, it was surprising he escaped an early bath, although Hart said: “It was clumsy at the worst, but I don’t think he stuck his foot out to deliberately trip someone.”

Joe Jacobson converted that spotkick, but missed from 12 yards on the hour mark after James Collins had handled a corner inside the area.

There was a lengthy delay when first Glen Rea was booked, England then going over to the fourth official who confirmed it had been Town’s striker, before cautioning the frontman instead.

Hart added: “My understanding is that it was James that handled the ball and the referee changed his mind on the fourth official.

“It was difficult, they had to head the ball, everyone, when you come to Wycombe, you can’t be shy on heading the ball and overall I think we did very well.”